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jade newThis is a lovely hand-carved pendant of natural Nephrite Jade from New Zealand. Maori designs carved in jade are steeped in religious and spiritual belief. They tell stories of ancestors long lost, depict spirits from the heavens, earth, and underworld, show historical lineage and paint images of the natural world that surround and surrounded them. They are no doubt beautiful, but they’re more than a form of art. For Maori they create a strong connection with their ancestors and the natural world they live in. It was believed by Maori that as a carving was worn against the skin it absorbed some of that person's essence. As carvings were passed down through the family they absorbed essence from each family member, creating a direct ancestral connection through the necklace itself. This is one reason why Maori design is so special, it is more than just an art form.

This special piece measures approx. 70 mm long (approx.. 2 3/4") x approx. 35 mm. (just shy of 1 1/2") at its widest point. Thickness is approx. 3 mm. Hole at top for hanging is approx. 2 1/2 mm. wide.

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grand junction 4While visiting relatives in Colorado this week, we had the good fortune to stumble upon a very cool organization -- the Art Jewelers Guild of Grand Junction.

These folks enjoy an association made up of skilled professional, semi-professional and student artisans. Their purpose is to learn, share, challenge each other regarding creative interests and abilities, and support one another's success.

Specialties include silver work, precious metal clay, wire work, bead weaving, glass creation, polymer clay, and more. They meet monthly to share experiences, new processes and news, and conduct classes. A big part of their work is to provide mentoring for developing artists (how many communities can say they do that??); they also help members promote and sell their work, and strive to increase the awareness of art jewelry in the community.

grand junction 7Their web site also serves to promote their multi-talented members, with photos of beautiful pieces and artists' contact information. Annual dues are only $30, and that seems quite a bargain for the benefits. It appears the majority of their classes and demos are free, with participants learning to wire wrap, do basic peyote beadwork, Kumihimo braiding, texturing and more. It is clear there is both commitment and camaraderie in the group, with members sharing responsibility for hosting parties and meetings, marketing, newsletter writing, and event management.

The Guild appeared to us to be a great model for other communities! If you'd like to learn more, you can contact them at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

And if you have a moment, click here to visit them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artjewelersguild and LIKE them! And check out their web site too: http://artjewelryguild.com

grand junction 1

 

 

Until Next Time,

Sheila

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